Being a Pilot Namiki fan I thought I'd review The Pilot Custom 74 from my collection, an interesting fountain pen. The Custom 74 has a clear demonstrator barrel and the nib is solid 14K gold with rhodium plating. The tassie (the cup shaped bezel at the end of the barrel), grip and cap are in a contrasting smoke grey resin. The appointments--the clip and trim--are plated in rhodium. The pen can be filled using a converter or ink cartridges, in this case I'm using the onverter and have filled the pen, which has a fine nib, with Noodler's Old Dutch Colony Sepia exclusive to th4e Fountain Pen Hospital.
Here's why I find it interesting. Various write-ups mention it's flexible nib, which puts me in mind of the Falcon and Falcon II. But my Custom 74 doesn't flex, it's as hard as a nail. Not only that, it feels scratchy when I write, like a tooth diggining into the paper. I don't know if I've got the bummer of the batch or what, but I'm definitely going to have the nib tamed down. Perhaps into a fine cursive italic, as I've gotten to like my Rotring 900 CI quite alot.
Other things of note: it's a lightweight pen, medium-sized, and the smokey grey cap is still clear enough to see ink drops from the nib. I haven't noticed any ink creep on the nib, and other than the scratchiness the Custom 74 writes wonderfully well. The piston converter can be a royal pain but with time and practice you get used to it.
I'm not sure this is a great pen, but it's definitely a good one to add to your collection. Especially if you love clear demonstrators, as I do.